Prof. Folasade Ogunsola Becomes Unilag’s Acting VC, Breaks 58-Year Record

Professor Folasade Ogunsola on Monday emerged as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. 

She was elected by members of the Senate at an emergency meeting held on Monday.

While Ogunsola polled 135 of 167 votes, her closest fellow contestant, Prof. Ben Ogbojafor, secured 31 votes.

The Federal Government had, last week, asked UNILAG Senate to reconvene and nominate an acting VC following the crisis between the varsity’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Wale Babalakin, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

The FG also asked Babalakin and Ogundipe to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

With her emergence, Ogunsola broke UNILAG’s 58-year record by becoming the first female to be appointed as an acting VC of the institution since it was founded in 1962.

She is also the first female provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

She became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution since 2017.

Sixty-two-year-old Ogunsola is a Professor of Clinical Microbiology.

According to her citation on Havard’s website, Ogunsola’s research interest and work centred around the diagnosis and prevention of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance.

She has, for two decades, been involved in raising awareness on Infection Control in Nigeria.

She was a founding member of the Nigerian Society for Infection Control in 1998 and has assisted in setting up infection control programmes in institutions around the country.

She is the principal investigator at the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria at UNILAG.

She has also been the chairman of Infection Control Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Additionally, she is the chairman of the National Association of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria.

She has a strong interest in the application of Infection Control principles for the prevention of disease transmission and antimicrobial resistance in low resource settings.

She is a member of the Global Infection Prevention and Control Network.

“Between 1974–82, Ogunsola obtained her first degree from the University of Ife.

“She got a master’s degree from College of Medicine, University of Lagos, then proceeded for her doctorate at the University of Wales between 1992–97,” her Wiki citation added.

How She Emerged The Prefered Candidate

Professor Ogunsola secured the highest number of votes in the election held by members of the University of Lagos Senate to choose an acting Vice-Chancellor.

She was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services at UNILAG before her emergence.

Ogunsola’s nomination took place on Monday during a Senate meeting attended by 167 professors.

The result of the election obtained by one of our correspondents showed that she secured 135 of 167 votes while Prof. Ben Ogbojafor, who was also considered for the post by members of the Senate, secured 31 votes. One void vote was, however, recorded.

Chairman of the Senate Emergency Committee, Prof. Chioma Agomo, also announced the result to journalists after the election.

The PUNCH earlier reported that the Federal Government last week directed the varsity’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Wale Babalakin, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

FG had also asked UNILAG Senate to reconvene to appoint an acting VC.

According to a Wiki citation, Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola was born in 1958. She is a professor of medical microbiology who specialises in disease control, particularly HIV/AIDS.

Ogunsola was also an ex-provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, and is reputed as being the first woman to occupy the position.

She became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution in 2017.

“Her research areas have been centred on the regulation and management of viral diseases, particularly HIV.

“She is the principal investigator at AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria at the University of Lagos.

“She has also been the chairman of the Infection Control Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Additionally, she is the chairman of the National Association of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria.

“In 2018, she expressed concern on disease prevention and control in Nigeria. She identified poor hygiene and overuse of antibiotics as practices that foster antimicrobial-drug resistance.

“Providing a solution, she maintained that sustained Infection Prevention and Control infrastructure and programmes should be built around a set of core components which include guidelines, training, surveillance, multimodal strategies for implementing IPC, monitoring and evaluation among others,” the citation added.

In an interview with The PUNCH in August 2018, Ogunsola narrated her experience as a provost and how she became a DVC.

“One of the major decisions I took while I got into office was to be myself. I know that in general, women lead slightly differently from men.

“I do not like giving orders; instead, I like building bridges because I love things working in harmony.

“My administrative style is to enable people because I do not like to micro-manage people,” she said.

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